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Pippa McGeoch

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A Spelling Seed for The Heart and the Bottle


KS: Lower KS2

Year Group: Year 3

Literary Theme: Magic & Wonder

Author(s): Oliver Jeffers


This is a three-session spelling seed for the book The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers.  Below is the coverage from Appendix 1 of the National Curriculum 2014.

Spelling Seeds have been designed to complement Writing Roots by providing weekly, contextualised sequences of sessions for the teaching of spelling that include open-ended investigations and opportunities to practise and apply within meaningful and purposeful contexts, linked (where relevant) to other areas of the curriculum and a suggestion of how to extend the investigation into home learning.

There is a Spelling Seed session for every week of the associated Writing Root.


Word List Words

appear, early, earth, heard, heart, learn

Spelling Rules and Patterns

More prefixes: in, il, im- and ir- and their effect on a word

The suffix -ous

A Writing Root is available for The Heart and the Bottle.

Writing Root Overview:


Dialogue, postcard, character description, diary entry, poetry, letter of advice 

Main Outcome:

Own version ‘dilemma’ narrative 


15 sessions, 3 weeks

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a three-week Writing Root using the text The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers, with explicit spelling (through vocabulary acquisition) and grammar objectives embedded within the sequence of learning.  It begins with children ‘discovering’ the setting from the text of the empty armchair and posing questions to make predictions about the book.  Children explore the text further, writing character descriptions using a range of descriptive vocabulary.  The story and the sequence of lessons have strong PSHE links and these need to be approached with sensitivity.  Having explored the passing events of the story for The Heart and the Bottle through an emotions graph, children then create their own stories where a dilemma occurs and there is an emotional response (again, with links to PSHE).  

Synopsis of Text:

Once there was a girl whose life was filled with wonder at the world around her…

Then one day something happened that made the girl take her heart and put it in a safe place. However, after that it seemed that the world was emptier than before. But would she know how to get her heart back?

Text Rationale:

This book by prolific children’s author Oliver Jeffers provides the context for children to understand the difficult topics of loss and grief.  The narrative will help open discussion around how to deal with the emotions of losing something or someone we love.  There are strong links to PSHE and a focus on holding on to hope to overcome hard times.

Links and themes:

Grief, loss, feelings, emotions, mental health, hope

Date written: June 2013

Updated: October 2023

View The Heart and the Bottle Writing Root

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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